Works from the 1980s / Conceptual Photography

Jan 28 — Feb 29, 2020
New York, Chelsea

Opening Reception:
January 28, 6-8 PM

Marlborough is pleased to announce two related group exhibitions including works spanning three decades. The downstairs galleries will feature larger scale works from the 1980s, which speak to the diversity and range of practices prevalent during that decade. The upstairs gallery will include a group of photo-based conceptual works from the 1960s and the 1970s.

The selection of works from the 1980s includes paintings and sculptures by Magdalena Abakanowicz, Alice Aycock, Lynda Benglis, Werner Büttner, Ron Gorchov, Red Grooms, R. B. Kitaj, Larry Rivers, Keith Sonnier, and Joe Zucker. Sculptural wall works by Benglis (1984) and Gorchov (1983) offer a view of the post-minimalist painting practices prevalent in the 1980s, and Zucker’s Drifting Hulk of the Doomed Whaler from 1986 illustrates his unique take on the grid, reductive painting, and the image. Sonnier’s 1988 Wall Slash II and Aycock’s Of Things in the Sky: Fata Morgana from 1984 both employ neon, glass and industrial materials to create sculptures with a machinelike finish.

Abakanowicz’s 1987 sculpture War Games “Marrow Bone”, Buttner’s 1984 painting Shehu’s Death (Expensive Version), and Grooms’ 1989 gouache Passing by the K.G.B. all address the Cold War and the incipient violence and paranoia of the period. Rivers’ pastoral three-dimensional work from 1988, Reclining, Crouching, Sitting, Standing: Fragonard’s Garden, conflates a contemporary family group portrait with a Fragonard, providing a fresh take on the tradition of the commissioned portrait painting.

The second floor gallery includes photographic works from the 60s and 70s by Laurie Anderson, Robert Barry, Dan Graham, Joseph Kosuth, Gordon Matta-Clark, Dennis Oppenheim, Martha Rosler, Allen Ruppersberg, Alexis Smith and William Wegman. This selection should help to provide an insight into the range of conceptual practices of the period including collage, photomontage, serial photography, and documentation of site specific works, actions, and performances.

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A kinetic sculpture with a neon strip by Alice Aycock
Alice Aycock, Of Things Seen in the Sky - Fata Morgana, 1984, steel, spinning glass disk, red neon light, suspended mirror and glass, spinning crescent-shaped steel blades, cable, 88 × 53 × 60 in., 223.5 × 134.6 × 152.4 cm. Photo: Pierre le Hors.
three paintings of different scales hung on the walls. One colorful painting of two figures embracing by RB Kitaj is tall and narrow. The remaining two are more subdued in their palette, by Werner Büttner and Larry Rivers.
Installation View. Photo: Pierre Le Hors.
An installation view of a large wood and iron sculpture by Magdalena Abakanowicz and a Werner Büttner painting of a chair.
Installation View. Photo: Pierre Le Hors.
A curved, colorful, abstract painting by Ron Gorchov.
Ron Gorchov, PEREGRINATION, 1983, oil on linen, 58 3/4 × 81 1/4 in., 149.2 × 206.4 cm. Photo: Pierre Le Hors.
A neon and aluminum sculpture by Keith Sonnier.
Keith Sonnier, Wall Slash II, 1988, neon, aluminum, 97 × 157 × 12 in., 246.4 × 398.8 × 30.5 cm. Photo: Pierre Le Hors.
An installation view of a neon and aluminum Keith Sonnier sculpture and a kinetic and neon sculpture by Alice Aycock.
Installation View. Photo: Pierre Le Hors.
An installation view of three wall works: a black and white piece of Joe Zucker and two paintings by Ron Gorchov.
Installation View. Photo: Pierre Le Hors.
A square, black and white abstract painting by Joe Zucker.
Joe Zucker, Drifting Hulk of the Doomed Whaler, 1986, acrylic, sash cord, wood, 102 1/2 × 102 1/2 in., 260.4 × 260.4 cm. Photo: Pierre Le Hors.
Five, square, framed black and white photographs by Allen Ruppersberg of a Scrabble game.
Allen Ruppersberg , W. B. Yeats, 1972, 5 black-and-white photographs, 21 7/8 × 21 7/8 in., 55.6 × 55.6 cm. Photo: Pierre Le Hors.
Two black and white photographs of the beach beside a white piece of paper with text, all hung in a black frame, by Robert Barry.
Robert Barry, Argon-1 liter returned to the atmosphere on 4 March 1969 the beach at Santa Monica, California, 1969, black and white photographs with statement, each photograph 8 x 10 in. / 20. 3 x 25.4 cm, statement 11 x 8.5 in. / 27.9 x 21.6 cm. Photo: Pierre Le Hors.
An installation view of four works hung on a gallery wall.
Installation View. Photo: Pierre Le Hors.
An installation view of four works hung on adjacent gallery walls.
Installation View. Photo: Pierre Le Hors.